As a foodie and fashionista, a trip to a beautifully designed restaurant is always at the top of my travel itinerary. Just as important as a trip to a museum, is a trip to a high-end restaurant. One of the great ways to discover the creative and cultural landscape of a city is through its bar and restaurant scene. Much like a fashion or art collection, the most memorable venues always seem to tell a great story. The best restaurants manage to conjure up a one-of-a-kind experience by combining gastronomy and sensory design.
In today’s Instagram driven world, it’s all about the optics!! As the digital media and the experience economy continue to blossom, among the top things millennials look for when selecting a venue are photogenic’s and the experience. As a result, Design is evolving more and more and has come to take center stage. Destination Hospitality, such as bars and restaurants are beginning to grow in popularity. Design matters, along with the overall experience a restaurant delivers.
The worlds of fine dining and art have begun more and more to collide. Cultural and Visual trends from other disciplines are now beginning to spill over into restaurant design. These days, visiting a hip restaurant in a new city can be just as inspiring as taking a trip to a local art museum. With restaurants leaning towards open spaces reminiscent of gallery layouts, trends like bold and eclectic furniture, sculptural fixtures, curated artwork, muraled walls, eclectic wallpaper, and biophilic design defining the visual landscape. These destination venues have it all, and worth a trip all on their own. From cities around the world, here are some of the most beautifully designed bar and restaurant spaces the world has to offer.
Marina Port Vell Restaurant
In 2019 Barcelona’s very own Marina Port Vell Restaurant formerly known as the Ocean Club was designated as “The Most Beautiful Bar in the World”, (courtesy of the “Restaurant & Bar Design Awards”).
This bar has it all to make one feel relaxed, an amazing color palette that evokes serenity, biophilic design, all in an idyllic oceanfront setting surrounded by the luxuriousness of Barcelona’s bustling Marina port Vell. Guests can pull up to the restaurants on Yachts and instantly get a glimpse into one of the most beautiful optically designed interior spaces in the city.
The award-winning bar and restaurant was designed by Barcelona based architecture firm SCOB. The façade of tiles along with the combination of materials and colors create an alluring visual effect, an optical illusion of sorts that render the fantasy of the sea. The combination of colors and textures blend in harmoniously with the waterside backdrop.
Aquatic themed design leads way to a peaceful and harmonious space. The color palette makes use of azure blues, and ocean-inspired greens, which evoke the calming feelings of nature and serenity of the sea. A subsection is devoted to an all-white space. Plants such as coral reefs and seaweed act as a great accent and cohesive use of biophilic design elements.
A luxurious port, known for hosting the world’s jet setters. Many of whom pull up to the restaurant on yachts after a break from sailing the Mediterranean sea.
Dar. Jasmine Morrocco
Located in Chefchaouen, Morocco, Dar. Jasmine is a classic Moroccan design reinterpreted. Designed by Kai Interiors, the bijou boutique hotel blends the hallmarks of Moroccan design with a more modern aesthetic., Inspired by African, Arab, and Middle Eastern design elements, the style is known for its eclectic blend of colors textures, and materials. Vibrant blues inspired by the Mediterranean sea, have long been a principal color in regional design. With classic blue designated as 2020’s color of the year, the rest of the world is catching on and we are seeing this color all over the place. At Dar Jasmine, Blue walls define the space, along with velvet upholstered furniture in this shade. Upholstered furniture has long been a key feature of Moroccan design, at Dar. Jasmine, this look is reinterpreted through revamping classic furniture with a modern plant aesthetic. Plant-inspired imagery has been a major trend in interior design, in recent years and this look is here to stay. From printed wallpapers to upholstery, we are seeing this trend more and more in interior and hospitality design. Good Moroccan design is not complete without tiles. Tilework will be a big trend in 2021 kitchen design. Dar. Jasmine reinterpreted this look by incorporating retro-influenced checkerboard tiles into the restaurant. Artisanal golden lanterns are another key regional design element seen throughout the space along with a pale coral-inspired color palette, Moroccan whites, intricate wood carving, marble, and many other reinterpreted design motifs. Although it is somewhat off the beaten path and unlikely that most will end up here. I definitely had to add it in just for design inspiration !!!
Botania, Madrid Spain
Housed in the VP Plaza Espana Design 5-star Hotel, Botania is a must-see on your next trip to Madrid. The restaurant is part of Larrummba, a group known for incorporated nature inspired design into its restaurant interiors. The name of the restaurant Botania is derived from the word botanical, inspired by plants. For guests in need of a botanical-inspired gastronomical experience, Botania will not disappoint. The space is lush with greenery. Plants hang from the ceiling, framing natural wood carved into intricate leaves as a principal design element. Biophilic design is combined with mod, and retro elements to create a unique and alluring visual effect. 2020 design trends such as chevron tiles, bold pastels, modular design, and upholstered furniture all come together in this experimental space.
INNS Bar Changu , China
This Changu Whiskey bar was designated as the most beautifully designed bar in the world. As the winner of the 2020 Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, INNS Bar is perhaps one of the seven wonders of the world. What makes this bar a one-of-a-kind architectural anomaly is that the internal structure is defined by luminescent arch-like shapes. Upon entering, guests will find themselves immersed in a futuristic space, surrounded by copper melded into curved contoured shapes. The large metallic beams that hang from the ceilings are otherworldly. All elements come together to create an illuminating optical effect reminiscent of a spaceship.
Les Ole Restaurant , Moscow Restaurant
If you are a fan of Biophilic Design, plant -inspired wallpaper, chevron tiles, and hip velvet upholstered furniture with a complimentary color palette!!! Les Ole restaurant has got it all covered when it comes to creating a photogenic moment for your Instagram feed!!
The stylish Moscow restaurant has all you need to enjoy a one-of-a-kind dining experience rich in sensory. The Moscow Restaurant was designed by Kaspary Interiors and is a contestant in the 2021 Bar and Restaurant Design Awards. What I love about this restaurant is that it uses biophilic design elements to incorporate the sentiment of nature into various aspects of the design. The theme of the restaurant was to provide a green oasis or an urban escape from the surrounding backdrop of Moscow. The space was conceptually designed to mimic a rainforest combined with a cosmopolitan café. This theme can be seen throughout. The living and breathing ceilings, the green walls, the wooden leaves carved into the design of the ceiling, the tree-stump-inspired table, and the plant-inspired wallpaper all pay homage to this theme. Design is bold and eclectic but is still somehow light and airy. The combination of the green and white color palette along with the chevron tiles render this effect. Glass surfaces and reflective mirrors were used throughout the space to enhance the aesthetics. One of my favorite details is in the lighting. The round glass chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, create a raindrop effect that captures the green oasis mood perfectly.
Cave Beach Club,Thailand
Located in Sattahip Thailand, Cave is a beach club and restaurant. The eclectic venue was dreamed up by Pathree design, the firm responsible for creating the architecture and interiors. The space was inspired by traditional Polynesian architecture, primarily from Fiji and Samoa. Details of this can be seen in just about every aspect. This detail is particularly present in the construction of the roofs which are reminiscent of huts, traditionally inhabited by indigenous tribes of the region. The wooden bamboo tables, tribal-inspired columns, and use of rattan are all hallmarks of tribal Polynesian design. The earth-toned color palette, against the backdrop of the white walls, strikes the perfect color balance and is a key trend in 2021 Interior design. The rounded black and white tables, the chic floor seating, the tribal-inspired columns, and woven baskets that hang as design motifs on the walls all speak to a Polynesian interpretation of the luxury exotic trend. The blend of rattan, natural wooden textures, tribal design elements, and bold patterns all come together harmoniously to create a unique space that lies somewhere between Eco-Chic and the Global Influence aesthetic. But of course, no beach bar would be complete without hammocks!! Cave has loads of them !! Did I mention you could lounge on them while having a drink at the bar? And by the way, this would look great on your Instagram feed!!!
Buena Vida Cartagena
If you are looking for a vibrant colorful atmosphere and a place with lots of character, then a trip to Buena Vida should definitely be on the itinerary for your next visit to Cartagena. The hip eatery is owned by the Gela business group and takes its inspiration from the Caribbean, and the surrounding visuals of the colorful vibrant coastal city. The restaurant is known for its modern take on seafood. The dishes are a magical fusion of Mexican, Bohemian, Jamaican, and Columbian Caribbean-inspired fare, where the plates are just as vibrant, eclectic, and colorful as the restaurant itself. The design style is an eclectic mix of greenery, plant inspiration in the form of bold and inspiring graphic upholstered furniture, and the wallpaper I Love so much !!! A large street art-inspired mural designed by local Colombian artists is the defining visual element of the space. The clam-shaped lamps along with the seating take inspiration from regional Columbian design. All of these features combined with the checkerboard flooring and neon lights make for a fun and playful enviornment. The place is known for its charming rooftop terrace, which features a hip bar, and is known as one of the best rooftop bars in Cartegena. The colorful furniture, tropical vibes and great views overlooking the city will all make for a great post on your Instagram feed !!
So What do you think? From an aquatic-themed gaudiesque yacht bar in Barcelona to a spaceship-like bar in China or a Biophilic meets mod-designed space in Madrid to a Polynesian-inspired beach bar in Indonesia, Which is your favorite?